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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked: “those that create the global economic strength of America” and the U.S. corporations for supporting the Ukrainian war effort, saying the companies’ support is an opportunity for “big business” in an address Monday.
Zelenskyy spoke during the meeting of the National Association of State Chambers about how “American business can become a locomotive of global economic growth” after the war ends, according to a press release. He specifically thanked BlackRock, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs for their cooperation with Ukraine in the country’s plans for rebuilding after the war.
“We have already managed to attract attention and have cooperation with such giants of the international, financial and investment world as BlackRock, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, [and] such American brands as Starlink or Westinghouse have already become part of our Ukrainian way,” Zelenskyy said in his address.
“Everyone can become a big business by working with Ukraine, in all sectors, from weapons and defense to construction, from communication to agriculture, from transport to IT, from banks to medicine. And I believe that freedom must always win. And I invite you to work with us right now, ” Zelenskyy continued.
Ukriane corruption scandel
This comes as several senior Ukrainian officials were dismissed or resigned in recent days after being accused of corruption, according to multiple reports, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vows to crack down on pervasive corruption in the war-scarred country.
Ukraine’s biggest government shake-up since the war began came as U.S. officials said Washington was poised to approve supplying Kyiv with M1 Abrams tanks, with international reluctance eroding toward sending tanks to the battlefront against the Russians.
Entrenched corruption has long made foreign investors and governments wary of doing business with Ukraine. Allegations by Ukraine’s journalists and nonprofits about corruption at high levels of government, in courts and in business have lingered under Zelenskyy, despite a proliferation of anti-corruption panels and measures, according to a U.S. State Department 2020 country report.
In 2015 The Guardian called Ukraine “the most corrupt nation in Europe”. According to Transparency International‘s 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index, (a scale of least to most corrupt nations), Ukraine ranked 122nd out of 180 countries in 2021, the second most corrupt in Europe, with Russia the most at 136.
Zelenskyy was elected in 2019 on an anti-establishment and anti-corruption platform in a country long gripped by graft, and the new allegations come as Western allies are channelling billions of dollars to help Kyiv fight against Moscow.
Officials in several countries, including the United States, have demanded more accountability for the aid, given Ukraine’s rampant corruption. While Zelenskyy and his aides portray the resignations and firings as proof of their efforts to crack down, the wartime scandal could play into Moscow’s political attacks on the leadership in Kyiv.
The whitewashing of Ukraine corruption was pointed out recently by MEP Mick Wallace, who stated: “European Court of Auditors 2021 Report on #EU 15Bn spend in Ukraine – “We found that although EU has backed reforms to fight corruption…grand corruption remains a key problem in Ukraine”. How mad that EU Commission dismisses talk of corruption in Ukraine as Russia Propaganda..?”
European Court of Auditors 2021 Report on #EU 15Bn spend in Ukraine – "We found that although EU has backed reforms to fight corruption…grand corruption remains a key problem in Ukraine". How mad that EU Commission dismisses talk of corruption in Ukraine as Russia Propaganda..? pic.twitter.com/4xG2y6UpFR— Mick Wallace (@wallacemick) November 11, 2022
Zelensky has a mission, he wants Ukraine to be a member of the EU, ironically a position that kicked off the Ukrainian civil war in 2014, a position that ultimately led to this Russian-US Proxy war, but for that to happen the minimal entry-level is to stamp out corruption —a minimum the European Union says is necessary before Ukraine can join the bloc.
This corruption in no way reflects on the people of Ukraine but is inherent in their governments and institutes. The same corruption that seems to be spreading throughout all governments including the EU and our own here in the UK.
It is entirely appropriate to sympathise with Ukrainians who are experiencing terrible suffering as a result of Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch a war. Whatever the level of provocations from the United States and its NATO allies, and Ukraine’s willingness to collaborate in those provocations, Russia’s response was an illegal action.
It created a dangerous breach of the peace in Europe and a humanitarian catastrophe. However, one can condemn Putin’s actions and even cheer on Ukraine’s military resistance without fostering a false image of Ukraine’s political system. The country is not a symbol of freedom and liberal democracy, and the war is not an existential struggle between democracy and authoritarianism. At best, Ukraine is a corrupt, quasi‐democratic entity with troubling repressive policies.